Bob Jackson, aka Yehaa Bob, packed audiences into Walt Disney World’s River Roost Lounge at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside for over two decades. On Sept. 29, Jackson announced via Facebook that Disney pulled the plug on his long-time Yehaa Bob act.
And that’s how it ends, not with a bang but with a whimper. I’ve just learned my act will not be returning to Disney. I made so many friends over the last 23 years, it was a great time, we had a lot of laughs together.”
The news is similar to the recent notice of the end of the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra, and, presumably, is part of the mass layoffs in the Disney Parks division announced yesterday by chairman Josh D’Amaro. The Disney layoffs are due to the impact of COVID-19 on park operations, and D’Amaro said will affect 28,000 employees.
Yehaa Bob Jackson played a mix of boogie-woogie piano during his comedic sing-along shows at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside. Even set in a full bar, Yehaa Bob’s show was always family-friendly, and could get kids and adults alike singing, dancing, standing on chairs, and pounding on their chests to the familiar Disney song book.
In addition to playing at Walt Disney World, Bob Jackson produced a series of children’s recordings and entertained at local schools and libraries. On Sundays Jackson performed at the Ocoee Christian Church in Ocoee, Fla. He also donated his time to perform monthly for wish families at Give Kids The World Village.
In 2013, Yehaa Bob Jackson was awarded the Walt Disney Legacy Award. This recognition program inside the Walt Disney company celebrates Walt Disney’s heritage by honoring Disney Cast Members who uphold his tradition of excellence. The Walt Disney Legacy Award recognizes cast members, crew members and imagineers who give the very best of themselves to guests, co-workers, and the company.
Bob Jackson lives in Orlando, Fla. with his wife Janis of 40 years. They have two children, Max, and Emilee. Jackson would say during his Yehaa Bob performances, “we ain’t scared,” and “no one has more fun than us.” Hopefully the Jackson family and all the Disney cast members can maintain that positive attitude during these extremely difficult times.
You can read more about Yehaa Bob in the Dec. 2008/Jan. 2009 issue of Attractions Magazine. Let us know if your family has any stories about Jackson’s performances at Walt Disney World below.